(Jeez, it didn’t even cross your mind that the title of this post of loosely, if anything, inspired by Doing Jalsa, Showng Jilpa, no? How, you ask? It didn’t cross your mind right… Chalo Bhaiyya, aage badho…)
Salsa, besides being a dance form, means sauce. It can refer to any of the several sauces used in Spanish/Italian/Latin American (yeah, Mexican, same difference, if you ask my ignorance) cooking.
When one uses the term Salsa Sauce (technically, redundant) one would imply a more pasty sauce, less watery, largely tomato based and mixed with green chillies or jalapenos, onion, garlic and fresh cilantro.
Pico de Gallo tends to be more chunky, as far as my knowledge goes. Add lime juice, to taste.
Pico de gallo is often also called Salsa fresca (fresh) or salsa cruda (raw). Here’s some gyaan from wiki: Pico de gallo can be used in much the same way as other Mexican salsas, Kenyan Kachumbari or Indian chutneys, but since it contains less liquid, it can also be used as a main ingredient in dishes such as tacos and fajitas.
Here’s some more information on the various kinds of salsa, after some ‘tedious’ wiki-ing.
Salsa may refer to any type of sauce:
– Salsa roja, “red sauce”: used as a condiment in Mexican and Southwestern cuisine, and usually made with cooked tomatoes, chili peppers, onion, garlic, and fresh cilantro.
– Salsa cruda (“raw sauce”), also known as pico de gallo (“rooster’s beak”), salsa picada (“chopped sauce”), salsa mexicana (“Mexican sauce”), or salsa fresca (“fresh sauce”), “salsa bandera” (“flag sauce”, in allusion to the Mexican flag): made with raw tomatoes, lime juice, chilli peppers, onions, cilantro leaves, and other coarsely chopped raw ingredients.
– Salsa verde, “green sauce”: Mexican version made with tomatillos. Sauces made with tomatillos are usually cooked. Italian version made with herbs.
– Salsa negra, “black sauce”: a Mexican sauce made from dried chilis, oil, and garlic.
– Salsa taquera, “Taco sauce”: Made with tomatillos and morita chili.
– Salsa ranchera, “ranch-style sauce”: made with tomatoes, various chilies, and spices. Typically served warm, it possesses a thick, soupy quality. Though it contains none, it imparts a characteristic flavor reminiscent of black pepper.
– Salsa brava, “wild sauce”: a mildly spicy sauce, often flavored with paprika. On top of potato wedges, it makes the dish patatas bravas, typical of tapas bars in Spain.
– Guacamole: thicker than a sauce and generally used as a dip, it refers to any sauce where the main ingredient is avocado.
– Mole (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmole]): a Mexican sauce made from chili peppers mixed with spices, unsweetened chocolate, almonds, and other ingredients.
(and a few others which I don’t feel the need to paste here. If you really DO want to know, you know what you should be wiki-ing.)
I’m quite pleased with my knowledge of salsa. I’ve had most of the above, with the exceptions of mole and salsa brava.
The funny part is, I had absolutely NO idea that mole is chocolate based!
All that said, I think I have enlightened a bunch of you with a few points about salsa, pico de gallo and a whole lot of other random shit (which, as you may by now know, is the downside of visiting this blog). You may now feel free (in case you haven’t already) to proceed to another post.
Thank you. And happy cooking.
P.S.: For the uninitiated, it’s pronounced pee-ko-de-gaa-yo. This is just in case you end up being like a girl who I once shared my apartment with. She’d go “tor-till-ah.” No kidding.